Stocks’ ACC Week 8 Review has some blockbuster games that have AP Poll implications. Pitt blew past Clemson whilst The Wolfpack took the L against Miami in a game they needed to win. Wake Forest continued their unbeaten start to the season and The Seminoles blasted UMass in a get right game.
In the Week 8 Preview I said Pitt would win and they would cover. That’s exactly what happened in the 27-17 win over Clemson. Once again Clemson failed to score over 20 points on Offence and as mentioned Kenny Pickett scored enough to get the dub. The Tigers got ahead 7-0 in the 1st quarter but from there it was all Pitt. Pickett engineered 14 and 10 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters respectively. Again Pitt ran through the air as they amassed 466 yards of total yards, 303 of these came through the air. Pickett was sublime when needed. He ground out two hard fought third downs as he ran the ball over the chain marker to seal the deal.
Clemson we’re awful and DJ Uiagaleilei isn’t reading the game. I’ve read several articles by NFL scouts who say his game reading ability is not where it should be and it’s already affecting his draft stock. Reading progression and defensive positioning at the line is essential. DJ isn’t doing either of these at the moment and it shows. He threw two interceptions, one a crazy shovel pass straight to a Pitt Linebacker. He was even briefly benched for Taisu Phommachanh but he failed to do anything of note so DJ returned.
Clemson has a whole identity to find ahead of next week’s clash with Florida State. Whilst Pitt will want to get a win over a Miami team who have won the last three meetings between the teams.
I said The Noles wouldn’t cover, well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. They had all but covered the -35.5 points by halftime. They scored a further 21 points after the break and won 59-3. Those sole three UMass points came in the first half. FSU racked up 586 yards. Jordan Travis only completed 5/10 attempts yet notched 123 yards. Even backup Chubba Purdy got in on the action under centre. He went 5/5 for 98 yards and two scores. FSU did most of the damage touchdown wise on the ground.
Five different players found pay dirt in the run game. Jashaun Corbin was the best of the bunch rushing 11 times for 127 yards and a score. By the second half FSU had backups playing in most of the positions, a look to the future for sure. The test next week against Clemson will provide a different prospect. The Tigers can’t score but they have one of the best defences in the country. Will Florida State have enough to get past Clemson? Well they only need to score 20 points and it’s a given.
Well well well. Good gosh. 126 points scored in a game that had an over set at 53.5. 49 points were scored in the first half! The Black Knights lost their starting Quarterback in the first half to injury which didn’t help towards the 70-56 loss to Wake. Would it have made the difference? I’m not sure as Sam Hadtman had a career day for The Demon Deacs. He threw for 458 yards, five touchdowns and even ran in another. With this win Wake stayed unbeaten and now head on a collision course with Pitt in the ACC championship game. This game went back and forth until late in the game and it was still a one score game until Hartman ran one in with just under seven minutes to go.
The option offence proved tricky for Wake to deal with and Army ran all over The Demon Deacons. They racked up a massive 416 yards rushing, perhaps an issue going forward for Wake who have a stiff test after Duke next week. Clemson, North Carolina and NC State awaited after the last cupcake against Duke. In a game that saw 1,233 yards the fact that only one punt happened is breathtaking. Wake didn’t punt, so the solitary punt belonged to Army. This is the second highest scoring game ever in ACC history and boy was it a fun watch.
It was the Garret Shrader show in Blacksburg on Saturday. Syracuse came from behind in the fourth quarter to win 41-36 and hand VT their fourth loss of the season. Justin Fuente hasn’t had a seat this hot in his time with the Hokies and he could be on borrowed time already. The crowd at Lane Stadium we’re calling for his head with a ‘Fire Fuente’ chant at the end of the game. VT are trying to win games but Fuente is holding them back on offence. Not good for a HC who is offensively minded.
Shrader ran in three scores and threw for two more as he lit up the Hokies defence. Totaling 410 yards for The Orange. The only bright spark for VT was Running Back Malachi Thomas. He ran for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Regardless of Malachi’s performance, Fuente is on the edge of a third losing season in four years. Not what the front office is after. Next up for VT is Georgia Tech who played well in a loss to Virginia. The Orange take on a reeling Boston College.
Malik Cunningham wasn’t at his shiny best in the 28-14 Cardinals win on Saturday. He threw two interceptions but ran in three to help Louisville bounce back from BC scoring the first touchdown. Three touchdowns later and Boston College we’re behind 21-7 without enough time to reply. Or so they thought. Cardinals Freshman Trevion Cooley fumbled the ball handing it back to BC. They drove to the end zone and scored but Cunningham would get in again on the ground and seal the deal on the next drive.
Cunningham reached 2000 yards In his career in this win and is making a mark for his future NFL role with commanding performances. The Louisville defence was a changed beast in this affair and brought huge pressure with up to six men at times. They made Dennis Grosel’s life a nightmare and it showed in his timing throughout the game. BC faces Syracuse next whilst Louisville takes on North Carolina State in what should be a blockbuster.
The Yellow Jackets won the first and last quarters but Virginia hammered the scoreboard in the middle of the game to win 48-40. Brennan Armstrong started slowly but ended up with six scores on the day. He ran in two and threw for four more as once again he was superb. He really is the engine room for The Cavaliers and the game rightly runs through him.
Bronco Mendenhall is using his weapon well right now. The Cavs notched up 636 yards of total offence but we’re shakey on defence as Virginia allowed GT back in the game. Jeff Sims was again effective as he threw for 300 yards and three scores with one interception. However, even recovering two onside kicks wasn’t enough for GT to claw back the 21 point deficit.
Miami we’re consistent and NC State weren’t and that’s what the difference was in Miami’s 31-30 win at Hardrock Stadium. Tyler Van Dyke stepped up in the absence of D’Eric King as he passed for 325 yards and four touchdowns. Charleston Rambo had a huge game for Miami as he hauled in all nine of his targets for 127 yards and two scores.
This loss all but eliminates NC State’s ACC Championship game chances. Ranked at 18 before the game they were not consistent enough throughout the game and an unsportsmanlike penalty in the third quarter ultimately cost The Wolfpack the win. This win for Miami may have saved Manny Diaz his job. That troublesome worry could return as they visit Pitt next in a game where they need to be at their best to stand a chance. NC State hosts Louisville in a game I can’t wait for.
Written by Stocks @5yardcollege